no equipment? no problem. let’s work out.


3rdoption+workouts+travelAfter 2 years of backpacking through Asia, I’m an expert on exercising anywhere. I’ve done workouts in hostels, on farms, in stairwells, on balconies, and in bathrooms. Again, an expert.

Will you be traveling soon and staying in a hotel? Is your gym sad? Do you work from home and need to turn your coffee table into a calorie burner? Are you in prison???? No problem.

I’ve compiled a plethora of body weight workouts you can do anywhere. No more excuses. Remember, always start your workout with a juicy warmup, like this or this. Get your fitness on, baby. I’m watching you.


The ultimate stair workout. Your whole body will wobble.

A 20 minute workout specifically designed for the hotel room.

Not too hard but hard enough. A quick, energizing workout.

If you’re tired of doing pushups, squats, and lunges, this doesn’t include any of them.

3 advanced workouts inspired by capoiera.This is fantastic.

Step up your ab game with 15 core exercises.

The prisoner workout. Amazing exercises for really, really, small spaces.

The quiet workout. So moms can take advantage of nap time.

For my crossfitters. Vacation WODs.

College student? Build muscle from your dorm room.

10 exercises to do on vacation.

A workout for people who don’t eat.

If your knees bother you, this routine won’t.

This HIIT workout takes 12 minutes.

A black belt teaches you balance and flexibility.

For the legs and butt. My favorite parts.

Did you drink the p90x koolaid?

For the booty. You’ll need 5 minutes and a kettlebell.

Want to improve your core? A gymnast tells you how.

Hip openers via this gentle yoga video.

28 exercises you can do on vacation. Some include your suitcase. I love this.

I’ve given you everything you need. Questions? Need me to yell?

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an interview: see through the bikini into the soul

camillethisamericangirl+travel+boatWhen I met Camille in a seedy nightclub, I didn’t know she would inspire my decision to travel. I thought she was another rich hippie, a privileged person who chooses a pauper’s life-until the novelty of struggle wears off. I was wrong.

Camille Willemain is much more than her privilege. She is much more than bikini shots and poetic musings about sex. She is an expansive soul swinging far and wide but always tethered to her center. In this interview, she explains why she left the “perfect” life and how to make travel work for you.

[Angel’s note: I post this interview wondering how her answers would differ if I asked today. Camille is always changing into more of who she is.]

This American Girl – an interview with Camille

1. Why do you travel?

Wow, this is tough.

I travel for so many reasons but the best answer I can give is this: traveling makes me feel more connected to my environment, to the people I meet, and to my most authentic self. In yoga we call that being in the present moment. When I am present and aware of what is happening around me and what is happening within me I feel the most alive.

I also travel to challenge and overcome barriers that keep me from actualizing my potential. Inflexibility and perfectionism are qualities I have struggled with in life that for many years kept me from doing things that I loved. Traveling, especially in developing nations, where things rarely happen according to plan has forced me to let go of a lot of this perfectionism and go with the flow. In Costa Rica, we call it Pura Vida.

thisamericangirl_camille2. Some say travel is an escape from real life, a way to avoid reality. Agree?

I’ve received a lot of this feedback in the last year from friends, family, and even my blog readers. I can understand it, but I don’t agree with it.

First of all, I believe that reality is self created. As a culture we create many boundaries and parameters for ourselves. These boundaries only exist if we believe that they do. Traveling beyond vacation or a study abroad program is still a rather new concept in the United States. Consequently many people in our culture don’t believe long term travel is a realistic or responsible life decision. They assume that someone who wants to travel indefinitely must be running from something, they must be trying to escape.

I think people do all sorts of things to escape their own realities. Drinking beyond consciousness, eating boxes of oreos, and spending hours on Pinterest are just a few activities that many people participate in daily to pull themselves out of reality. These activities disconnect us from ourselves and can make us forget who and where we are.

Travel, like anything, can be done in a similar fashion. But it can also be done mindfully and with intention. It can teach you about yourself and about the world. Travel can introduce you to a world of paradigms that contradict what you always believed to be true. It can help you to recognize and understand what boundaries you do and don’t want in your life. In this sense it is the closest thing to actually experiencing reality.

camille13. How do you travel and maintain fitness?

When I’m abroad fitness is not something that I really think about. As far as actual calorie burning I’m constantly walking or biking to get from one place to another and I love exploring on foot. My favorite activities to do when I’m traveling outside of cities are active: hiking, stand up paddleboarding, and beach walking. There is something amazing that happens to your body when you walk for long periods of time barefoot on the earth.

Traveling can be hard on my body which is one of the many reasons why I do yoga at least once a day while I’m on the road. This might seem like a lot to some people, but for me it’s an amazingly yummy act of self care. Like taking a long bath or getting a massage. Who wouldn’t want that every day?

4. What place was the easiest to be physically active?

Nosara in Costa Rica is a fitness lover’s dream. In addition to all of the outdoor activities like surfing, stand up paddleboarding, stand up paddleboard yoga, and hiking, there are world class yoga studios offering classes all day long, kickboxing classes, daily pilates, and all kinds of special fitness events. Everyone there is in amazing shape and is into surfing or yoga or both. If I go back to Costa Rica I could definitely see myself living there for a while.

camillewater5. Nutrition. I spent months abroad and found it tough to find healthy foods. How do you do it?

Oh boy, it is a challenge. In general I try to make the best choices I can with what I’ve got. Overnight bus rides don’t stop at organic cafes for lunch. You have to look past the fried chicken and find the healthiest option there is.

Planning also helps a lot. Buying fruit and nuts at markets and keeping them in my bag helps me to eat healthy during long travel days. Also cooking is key. It’s very challenging to find restaurants that serve salads but most countries have tomatoes, cucumbers, avocados, and eggs. I buy the healthiest things I can find and make meals that way. It helps me save money too.

Getting in touch with the indigenous superfoods is a fun cultural way to stay healthy. For instance in Latin America it’s easy to find young coconuts everywhere, which make great pre and post workout snacks, chia seeds, and superfruits like dragonfruit and mangosteen.

On my next trip I plan to travel with a few things from home like chlorella and spirulina and I’m even packing some water kefir grains so I can keep making my probiotic beverages. This might make me sound crazy but staying healthy on the road is really important to me.

camillecoconut6. Which country was the easiest to eat healthy?

Costa Rica. There are so many American expats who moved to Costa Rica to start yoga studios and open healthy cafes. It’s a huge part of Costa Rican culture. Puerto Viejo even has an organic farm box program where you can order via email all of your organic produce and pick up the box once a week. They have a farmer’s market with all kinds of health foods too.

7. Most scenic (nature) place?

Corcovado National Park on the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica and the San Blas Islands in Panama are two untouched pieces of paradise.

8. What place took you most out of your comfort zone?

Definitely Morocco. The culture is just so different there. You don’t encounter many expats or tourists and I did not meet a single American the entire two weeks I spent there.  Traveling alone as a woman in a Muslim country has many challenges. That trip matured me in a lot of ways.

camille+window9. If you wanted a family, where would you raise your children?

Definitely Costa Rica. The expat scene is so community focused there, access to health food and activities is much easier than the rest of Central America (even Europe in my opinion), and it’s an easy plane ride to the states to visit family. I loved backpacking in more developing nations like Nicaragua, Colombia, and Morocco, but as far as living somewhere it’s really important to me to have access to good yoga and organic food.

10. Where is your next travel adventure?

My next adventure is in October to Southeast Asia. I’m planning to backpack through Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, and Vietnam and spend at least a few months in Thailand and Bali. This trip is indefinite and I’m hoping to find a place that becomes a home to me in Asia the way that Puerto Viejo did in Latin America.

Traveling in Turkey and Greece next summer or doing a California Coast road trip are also high on my list.

camille+thisamericangirl11. Toes painted or bare?
Bare. So much sexier and polish never stays put on the beach.

12. Sunrise or Sunset?
Sunset. I watch them every night when I’m traveling. No matter what else is going on I will stop everything until the colors disappear.

13. Text or Call?
Embarrassed to admit this, but text.

14. Water with ice or no ice?
No ice.

15. Dreamer? Realist?
Making my dreams my reality.

camille+yogaCamille Willemain is a coconut lover, adventure seeker, storyteller, sun worshipper, and life long learner. You can find her on beaches and in jungles blending green smoothies, engrossed in her writing, or dancing her heart out to reggaeton. She writes about her travels and life lessons on her blog This American Girl.

**All photos are the property of Camille.

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10 minutes in the grocery store

photoGrocery store chronicles. Sometimes you don’t have a lot of time in the grocery store. You need to get what you need and get out. These are my essentials, the items I try to always have in stock: cucumbers, eggs, lemons, cinnamon, ginger, tuna, and mustard. Oh, and fruit. Lately, I’ve been devouring donut peaches, a new peach I discovered in Germany. Delicious.

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Your workout is not as good as it could be

It’s hard to find reliable fitness information. There’s a lot of stuff. A lot of propaganda. A lot of hype.

Sarah Rippel isn’t hype. She is a fitness expert with a southern kind of swag. I invited Sarah to drop some knowledge about the weaknesses in your fitness routine. These are advanced concepts so she provides full video demonstrations at the end. You will learn.

Who is this article for?

If you are runner, a triathlete, or a crossfitter, you need this.
If you have aches in your body, you need this.
If you want your butt to look better, you need this.
If you’re over 30, you need this.
If you’re under 30, you need this. Your body doesn’t even know what it’s doing yet.

Now, I’ll let Sara take over. Take notes. She is an expert.


When Angel suggested the topic for my guest post, I was excited. She wanted me to write about the three most neglected muscle groups in women. This was easy for me as I’ve seen these issues in most of my female clients: decreased hip mobility, lack of proper glute functioning, and scapular control. [Angel says: This article is targeted to women but don’t get it twisted, fellas, you know you got these issues, too.]

3 Fitness Issues You Need To Fix Now

The first issue is a lack of hip mobility. A decrease in hip mobility usually comes from spending too much time in the seated position. And it shows up in many ways. People who have low back pain mistakenly believe the cure is to perform stretches for the low back. But low back pain may be the result of decreased hip mobility. The same goes for knee issues. Think of the body as a stack of joints. If an area isn’t functioning properly (ie: tight hips), it affects the joints above and/or below it. A lack of hip mobility can lead to pain and a decreased ability to move, resulting in less enjoyment of exercise and daily life. Who wants that?!

Hip Mobility Routine
1.  Half-Kneeling 3D Psoas Stretch – 5 reps for each plane of motion per side
2.  Modified Cossack Stretch – 5-8 reps per side
3.  Half Turkish Get-Up – 5 reps per side (bodyweight first) then add 8-15 lbs

The second issue is impaired glute function. In most people, the glutes are “shut down,” therefore other muscles take over. This leads to imbalances and faulty recruitment patterns, further exacerbating the problem. Most exercises that women associate with glute training (ie: squats and lunges) aren’t effective if the glutes aren’t firing! It is important to address this because the glutes allow the body to function more efficiently and they add shape. You can tell when someone’s glutes are “asleep” – they typically have a flat butt! [Angel says: A big butt with no firmness or no shape is also a sign of inactive glute muscles.]

Glute Function Routine
1. Bridge – 15 reps
2. Staggered Stance Hip Hinge + Rotation – 10 reps per side
3. Kettlebell Swing – 15lbs or more

The third issue is insufficient scapular control. We’re talking shoulder blades. All of the muscles that work to control the scapulae are often neglected because you can’t see ‘em! It is important to improve the strength and mobility of this area because it plays a big role in posture. As the anterior side of the body tends to be dominant, it makes sense to promote a balanced physique not only to improve posture but to prevent injury as well. Unfortunately, the scapular region is neglected because women are simply unsure of how to train it properly.

Scapular Control Routine
1. Dowel Awareness Drill – 5 reps of 10 second holds (retraction; depression)
2. Scapular Push-Up – 10 reps
3. Quadruped Sliding Reaches – 5-10 reps per side

Try these exercise 2-3 times per week. You should see an improvement in not only these areas, but your entire body! Why? The body doesn’t function as individual muscle groups. It’s a beautifully crafted machine designed to function flawlessly. Therefore we must pay extra attention to our weak areas so that our bodies move better and we feel better!

Hip Mobility

Glute Function

Scapular Control

Sarah Rippel has been helping people improve their health for over 14 years.  She is the owner of Rippel Effect, offering one-on-one, small group training, and outdoor fitness camps in the Baton Rouge, Louisiana area. Check out her website for tons of useful fitness-related posts. Follow her on Twitter @fitprosarah and on facebook.

Do you incorporate these into your routines? Which exercises are new to you?

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Fix the stiffness. For back & hamstrings

If you have a stiff lower back or tight hamstrings, try the Roll Back & Reach.

This exercise is typically used as a warm up activity. But due to its ballistic nature, this exercise should be performed after your warmup. (Your limbs should be loose before you get all up in this one.) Alternatively, it can be used as a “break” during high intensity workouts. For example, 10 burpees, 10 split jumps, 5 roll to reach, repeat.

Focus area: hamstrings, lower back, groin/inner thigh
Improves: flexibility and mobility of the focus areas

Please remember to only do this exercise after you have warmed up. Otherwise, you will injure thine secret parts. And, you don’t want that. You don’t.

Also, if you work with kids or teens, this is a good exercise for them. There’s enough “fun” to distract them from the work. Don’t you dare tell them how effective it is, it’ll ruin the fun.

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the best place for runners in bangkok

outdoorgymbangkokBangkok is crowded. It’s smelly. It’s seedy. It’s my favorite city in Asia.

When I was there, I loved the accessibility, the authenticity, the variety, and the grit. But, the air quality? Not so much. As a runner, I was frustrated. I couldn’t find clean air and I couldn’t find other runners. But I wasn’t going to give up. Every day, I took a 30 minute train to a different park. I needed to find my people. I did.

If you’re a runner looking to escape the smog and see a tree, look no further. I found the best parks in Bangkok for running, exercising, and other healthy activities.

where to run and workout in Bangkok

Lumpini Park. It has everything: running, tai chi, yoga, and dance aerobics. Geezus, the aerobics. There are literally hundreds of people engaged in a mashup of zumba, twerk, and jazzercise. It’s amazing. If you’re a runner, the dance classes are a perfect distraction. You’ll be entertained every lap. Details: The running loop is 2.5km. The park is located near mrt and bts; silom, saladaeng, and lumpini. Pros: big, lots to do. Cons: not centrally located.

Benjasiri Park. This crowd is fit. You’ll see running groups, parkour guys, and a lot of skin. They also have an outdoor gym equipped with machines, barbells, and more skin. For runners, this is a good place for interval repeats, but be prepared to zig-zag between the crowds. Treat it as agility training. Details: The running loop is 0.75km. The park is located a 15 minute walk from sukhumvit mrt. Pros: centrally located. Cons: small; crowded

Chatuchak Park. This is the biggest and most scenic place to run. You don’t have to jostle for space and you’re surrounded by trees. It’s also the best place to have a picnic or rent a bicycle. And, there’s a butterfly garden. You’ll forget you’re in Bangkok. Details: The running loop is 3km. The park is located at morchit bts; chatuchak mrt. Pros: trees; space. Cons: not centrally located.

Gyms. I didn’t visit any gyms because they required lengthy memberships. But I did find Maxfit who offered drop-in classes and a free trial class. **If you know a great gym or fitness camp in Bangkok, let me know. I’d love to visit and write about my experience.

Lessons Learned:
1. Use frustration as motivation.
2. Find your people.
3. Focus on the good.
4. Always focus on the good.

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Fitness. For your brain.

brain fitness angel stoneCurrently, I’m working on mental fitness because I’ve been feeling dumb. Taking extra long to figure out how much change the taxi driver owes me, forgetting the wifi password as soon as I get it, not knowing my real age.

I’ve never done brain puzzles so this will be a single-speed bicycle going uphill. But I’m excited to see how it sparks other areas of my life. Also, I did not plan my outfit to match the book. I swear.

Want to increase your brain power? Is it possible? These resources will get you thinking.

The top apps to train your brain.

Can you make yourself smarter? A controversial NY Times article.

A ted talk on how to learn anything.

Brain games are a waste of time? What do you think?

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afros for breakfast

Ah. 2011. When my afro was big and my shyness was small. 2016. My afro is mini and I’m awkward in front of the camera. What happened! Anyway, this oldie but goodie is still relevant. I still endorse this high protein breakfast. Just had some today. You?

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